Ben Todd | Jun 3, 2017 | 2
Best High-Interest Savings Accounts
Our Best High-Interest Savings Accounts article features respectable and well-known online banks and credit unions that offer an unusually high APY savings rate. Many banks, credit unions and online companies will give you between 0.01% and 0.99%, so we have chosen high-interest savings account that give you at least 1.0% APY interest on your savings. Luckily for us, there are not a great deal of legitimate online companies, banks or credit unions that offer 1% APY or more, so the research and testing portion of our work was a little easier. Our Best High-Interest Savings Accounts review only features the very best high-interest savings accounts, we have not included the savings accounts that we tried and didn’t like.
Here is a quick list of the best high-interest savings accounts that we reviewed in this article.
Goldman Sachs Bank USA Savings Account 1.20% APY
Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings 1.15%
Barclays Online Savings 1.15% APY
CIT Bank High Yield Savings 1.15%
Discover Bank Savings Account 1.10%
Ally Bank Online Savings Account 1.05%
Alliant Credit Union High-Yield Savings Account 1.05%
American Express Personal Savings Account 1.05%
iGObanking.com High Interest Savings Account 1.00%
After the reviews, later in the article, we present a sound argument for why you shouldn’t automatically pick the savings account with the highest APY. We do a little math and prove that picking the right account for you doesn’t always mean picking the savings account with the highest APY.
This is not our only review of savings accounts. We have reviewed a few others on this article called Best Savings Accounts. In that article, we have reviewed a broader range of savings accounts, whereas this article only deals with the best high-interest savings accounts.
Did We Consider Bank Perks And Technology?
In most of our review articles, we consider the perks a bank offers, we consider its different functions and technology. In this article, we have considered similar issues, but only for elimination purposes. The high-yield savings accounts that had unusable websites, terrible apps, or other technological issues were eliminated from our short list.
Why Have We Disregarded Issues Such As Perks And Technology?
When we review banks and money companies, we know that things such as an efficient website, a high-tech app, and numerous functionality features are important. They are important because people are expected to use such technology on a frequent basis. However, people use high-yield savings accounts fairly infrequently, so things such as a multi-platform, multi-use and an ultra-high-tech app and website are not as important, which is why such issues were not used as deciding factors in this “Best High-Interest Savings Accounts” review.
The Point Is…
There are going to be people who try these high-yield savings accounts who expect all the technological and functional bells and whistles, and I am here to tell you that such people will be disappointed. With that said, the technology that the best high-interest savings accounts providers are using is increasingly becoming more advanced. For example, a few years ago we saw far fewer of our best high-interest savings accounts with mobile check deposit.
Goldman Sachs Bank USA Savings Account
If you really want to save money in your account, then set up a direct debit/auto-pay instruction that takes money out on the day you are paid. Just make sure the money comes out at the end of the day to be sure your wages are actually in there when the payment instruction activates. Do it this way and you will not miss the money because it will already be gone from your account before you realize. It is a very comfortable, easy and passive way of saving money.
- You get a rate of up to 1.20 APY on your savings
- There is no minimum deposit for opening your account
- You will not have to pay transaction fees
- There are maximum deposit limits with this account
- The rate is variable and may change if the bank decides
- You are given numerous ways of accessing your money
- Interest is compounded daily and is paid monthly
- You are only allowed to make six withdrawals per statement cycle
- Your money is insured up to $250,000
- Their savings calculator is easy to use and easy to understand
- Your account is closed 60 days after opening if you don’t fund it
- Gain access to your money at any time with their online banking website
- Withdraw your money into domestic accounts
- Transfer money into your Goldman Sachs Bank USA checking account
- Wire money out of your account with domestic wire transfers
- You may keep a balance of up to $250,000
- They allow single or joint savings account owners
- GS bank customers are able to sign in and apply from their online account
How To Add Money To Your Goldman Sachs Bank USA Account
There are number of ways to deposit money into your GS Bank USA savings account. Transferring money into your account usually involves transferring from an external bank, which is the reason it usually takes a few days to be credited into your savings account. Here is how you may fund your account:
- You may transfer money from your other Goldman Sachs Bank USA accounts
- Link your external bank accounts and make online transfers
- Set up single or repeating direct deposits
- Have direct deposits from employers, other banks and social security
- You may fund your account with domestic wire transfers too
- Post a check to them and make sure you follow their instructions
Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings
If you really want to save money in your account, then try not to check your account too often. You should set up alerts/notifications (if you can) for things such as withdrawals because it may help you catch fraudsters and/or account misuse. Otherwise, try not to check your account too often. You will find it far easier to save if you do not keep checking your savings. Some people save better if the issue is out of sight and out of mind. Continuing to check your account may add to the temptation to spend.
- Their high-interest account offers an APY that is above the national average
- The Synchrony Bank high yield savings account offers an APY as high as 1.15%
- Synchrony Bank has FDIC insurance that offers protection up to $250,000
- There are no maintenance fees or any sort of monthly fee
- You do not have to maintain a minimum balance to keep your account open
- You may withdraw from an ATM with your card
- They offer online withdrawals and phone withdrawals
- Gain access to your savings at any time over the Internet
- You may use a savings calculator on the website
- The APY stays the same no matter if you have $1 or over $25,000 in your account
- They may close your account if you keep withdrawing more than six times per month
- There is no fee if you withdraw more than six times per month
- Any transaction where you remove money from your account is deemed a withdrawal
- There is an outgoing wire fee of $25,000
- You may only wire money out to US banks
- You may call and request a check be sent out to you
- Transfer funds in and out electronically without paying fees
- You are given a card that you may use for withdrawals and/or purchases
- A purchase is still counted as a withdrawal
How To Add Money To Your Synchrony Bank Account
There are numerous ways to add money to your account. At the time of writing, most people will not be able to add money to their Synchrony Bank high yield savings account with cash in hand. Here is how you may add money into your Synchrony Bank high yield savings account:
- You may sent a personal check
- Send in a cashier’s check
- You may initiate a single direct deposit from a third party
- Set up a frequent/repeated direct deposit from your own account
- You may wire funds to your account
- Transfer funds via an electronic funds transfer from another bank
- They offer mobile check deposit that you may use via the app
- Add money with an internal transfer from your Synchrony Bank account
Barclays Online Savings
If you really want to save money in your account, and you are a freelancer or self-employed, then try to turn your account into a Gamification target. For example, you may tell yourself that you are going to earn X amount this month so that you may put 10% in your savings account and reach your monthly savings goal. Turn your money earning targets into a game where your savings account helps you keep score.
- You get a rate of up to 1.15% APY on your savings
- The rates they offer are consistently high year after year
- They allow you to set up direct deposits into your savings account
- Make online transfer from and to other banks
- Their website gives you secure access to your money around the clock
- They have a series of tools you may use to help you save
- There are no monthly or maintenance fees with this account
- You do not have to put down a minimum deposit to open your account
- There is no minimum balance for your account
- Withdraw your money with electronic transfers
- Withdrawals to your external bank account will take between 2-3 days
- Make more than six withdrawals per month and they may close your account
How To Add Money To Your Barclays Account
There are only four ways that you may deposit money into your high-interest savings account. There is no way to deposit cash into your Barclays online savings account. The Barclays bank itself is very popular in other countries, but in the US they only offer online savings. The fact they are online and the fact they are backed with money from their other banks means they can offer a high-quality service and a high interest rate too.
- You can mail a check to them, but the check has to be made out by you. They do not take checks from foreign banks or from third parties.
- They allow you to set up a one-off direct deposit, or you may set up a frequent/repeating direct deposit from yours or another account.
- Barclays has a remote check deposit that you are able to use via your desktop computer of via your Smartphone or tablet.
- You may transfer my using ACH, which is an electronic transfer from another money account or bank/credit union account.
CIT Bank High Yield Savings
If you really want to save money in your account, and you receive infrequent payments into your checking account, then vow to transfer 10% of every deposit you receive into your savings account. You may receive infrequent money deposits in your checking account from odd jobs, eBay sales or even a part-time job. Every time you receive money into your checking account, you should transfer 10% to your savings. Think of yourself as a government taking taxes, except your tax percentage actually go into your savings account.
- They have representatives you can speak to about choosing the right account for you
- You get up to 1.15% APY on your savings balance
- The account is covered by the FDIC up to $250,000
- You may open an account with a deposit of just $100
- They have online banking that allows you to manage your money around the clock
- There are no monthly fees or maintenance fees
- Your interest is compounded daily and added monthly
- Rate may change as per the desire of the bank
- They have educational sections that teach you how to keep your money more secure
- There is no minimum balance requirement for this account
- Outgoing wire transfers cost you $10 per wire transfer
- They waive the outgoing wire transfer fee if your account still has $25,000 in after the transfer
- Online transfers and wire transfers into your account are free
- They only allow you to withdraw six times per month
- It takes five to ten business days for deposits to appear in your account
How To Add Money To Your CIT Bank Account
CIT Bank will not allow you to put cash money into your account; you have to do it electronically. One of the biggest downsides of a CIT Bank high yield savings account is the fact it takes between five and ten business days for your money to appear as a usable credit in your account. There are only four ways to add money to your account, which include:
- You may mail a check to the bank by following their instructions
- Electronically transfer money from your CIT accounts
- Transfer money from other banks electronically
- Send a deposit by wire transfer
Discover Bank Savings Account
If you really want to save money in your account, then put every penny you receive in gifts into your savings account. Maybe you receive cash on your birthday, or maybe you receive cash more frequently. You could set up an account just for money you have been given. It allows you the odd feeling of being able to fund a savings account made entirely of other people’s money. It doesn’t hurt when you save it because it was never yours in the first place, you didn’t earn it, so it is no loss when you save it in your account.
- There is no minimum balance requirement
- You may earn up to 1.10% APY on your savings
- There are no monthly or maintenance fees
- Interest is compounded daily and paid monthly
- You have to pay $15 if you make more than six withdrawals per month
- Outgoing wires will cost you $30
- You have to pay $30 per day if you overdraw on your account
- They have a savings calculator on their website
- Their savings calculator keeps it simple (it makes a nice change)
- Set up automatic transfers from your checking account
- See and manage your account online at any time
- Their app allows you to quickly transfer money
- You may request a bank check if you wish to withdraw from your account
- You may withdraw from your account for free and electronic transfers
- They may refuse to honor your withdrawal requests if you make too many in one month
- There is a fee if you try to withdraw more than six times per month
- They have 24/7 customer service lines
- The Discover Bank FAQ answers mostly all of your starting questions
- Your money is FDIC insured up to $250,000
- You may request more than six bank checks per month
How To Add Money To Your Discover Bank Account
There are quite a few ways of adding money to your discover savings account. You will be unable to add cash money to your account, but this may change in the near future.
- Set up online electronic transfers from other banks
- Set up a direct deposit from other banks
- Create a direct debit from your Discover checking account
- You may send the Discover Bank a check in the mail
- Use Discover’s mobile check deposit system to add money
- Transfer money from your Discover Bank checking account
Ally Bank Online Savings Account
If you really want to save money in your account, then try skimming your account of change every time you log into your checking account. The process is simple, every time you log into your checking account, you put your odd change into your savings account. For example, if you log in and your balance is $566.09, then you transfer $6.09 to your savings. For example, next time when you log in, you may have $71.33 in your account, in which case you transfer $1.33 into your savings account. It is like putting your spare change into a glass jar, except that you are doing it digitally into a high-interest savings account.
- You get up to 1.05% APY on your savings balance
- They have a mobile check deposit function
- Their interest is rather high (that is why it is on this article)
- There are no maintenance or monthly fees
- Withdraw your money as many as six times per month
- They give you compounded daily interest
- There is 24/7 customer phone support
- You may bank online at any time of the day or night
- Use their mobile banking app and manage your savings account
- Transfer money quickly and easily to and from Ally accounts
- Schedule transfers up to one year in advance
- Easily transfer money to and from other accounts
- Your rate may change during the year
- They have very transparent fees
- Outgoing wires cost a whopping $20 (only domestic are allowed)
- You have to pay a $15 fee if you withdraw more than six times per month
- Incoming wires are free (they allow domestic and international)
- Different apps for different mobile devices have different available functions
- This savings account doesn’t have checks and a debit card
- Their money market account is the one that offers checks and a debit card
- The money market account has a lower APY
How To Add Money To Your Ally Bank Account
They do not accept any form of cash deposit, but there are other ways to make deposits. They do allow you to make check deposits via the mail, and you may order postage-paid envelopes, which will save you a few dollars.
- Make a check deposit using their mobile app by photographing your check
- Set up a single direct deposit from yours or other bank accounts
- Set up frequent/repeating direct deposits from other accounts
- Receive incoming wires transfers from US bank accounts
- Mail your checks into them with their own envelopes
If you really want to save money in your account, then budget around 10% of your wages, put 5% in your savings account and spend 5% on gambling. Just make sure your gambling is something where you stand a chance of winning and not some sort of lottery. If you lose, then no big loss. If you win, then you put your winnings into your savings account too. In most cases, you are going to lose your 5%, but you could always get lucky and win more than you lost. Just make sure you maintain your discipline and don’t go being silly with the gambling.
- They have a high rate of interest when compared to most banks
- You get up to 1.05% APY on your savings
- You need an average daily balance of $100 to earn interest
- They allow you to use 80,000 of their network ATMs without surcharge fees
- There are no monthly fees if you choose to go paperless
- Alliant Credit Union doesn’t restrict you with a maximum balance limit
- You have to pay a $5 refundable deposit to open your account
- They give you an ATM card for making deposits and withdrawals
- You may use your savings account as collateral for a loan
- There is an Alliant Credit Union app that allows you to manage your money via your mobile
- Bank by mobile, bank online, at ATMs and in branches
- You may use their personal assistance via their touchtone banking system
- Easily transfer money both online and with your mobile
- Their application process is more streamline than we are accustomed to
- Use their mobile deposit system to add checks to your account
- They only charge you $3 per unplanned overdraft instance
- There are savings calculators on the Alliant Credit Union website
- Their fees are very transparent and easy to find
- You cannot use your ATM card to make purchases
- You are unable to make more than six withdrawals per month
- There is an inactivity fee of $10 per month
- Dormant account fee comes to $10 too (not sure how often that is charged)
- Outgoing domestic wire transfers cost $25 and foreign outgoing cost $50
- Close your account within 90 days of opening and they charge you $10
- Their “Find answer” tool sucks
How To Add Money To Your Alliant Credit Union Account
Opt out of overdraft protection to ensure you will never be charged for withdrawing more than you should. There are a number of ways to add money to your account, which include:
- You may add cash money in one of their branches (there aren’t many)
- Send them a check
- Deposit a check using their mobile check deposit function
- Have money wired into your account
- Transfer money from your Alliant Credit Union checking account
- Electronically transfer money from other bank and credit union accounts
If you really want to save money in your account, then budget every penny from your wages. At the end of the month, if you have under spent on certain budget sections and you haven’t overspent, then you may put the extra into your savings account. For example, if you budgeted $280 for food that month, but you only spent $260, then you put $20 into your savings account. Just make sure you do not go over budget, otherwise there will be nothing left to save. Saving in this manner will reward you for being less wasteful at home.
- There are no minimums when you open a savings account with American Express
- You may earn up to 1.05% APY on your savings
- There are no monthly or maintenance fees for your account
- You may link your savings account with your current bank
- Gain access to your money around the clock on the Internet or over the phone
- The account is FDIC insured up to $250,000
- You may link up to three bank accounts with your personal savings account
- It earns compound interest daily that is paid monthly
- The website is easy to understand and makes things very clear
- Set up recurring transfers from your current bank account
- There is a savings calculator on their website
- The savings account is one of the few American Express accounts that doesn’t come with a card
How To Add Money To Your American Express Account
You are unable to deposit cash into your account, so you have to find a way of digitizing your money in order to add it to your American Express personal savings account. It takes between one and three days for you deposits to appear in your account. Here is how you may fund your account:
- Link your external bank account and transfer money
- Transfer money from your American Express card account
- Send them a check through the post
If you really want to save money in your account, then save your loose change, deposit the coins into a bank branch every month, and then save the money. Some people suggest you save your tax refund, but I am not so sure about that one. You could probably invest your tax refund into something with a more immediate benefit, such as putting it towards an extra qualification, or maybe buying an energy-efficient appliance to replace one of your household power vampires.
- There are no maintenance fees or monthly fees for having this account
- You may earn an APY of up to 1.00%
- There are no minimums to maintain your account
- The account is FDIC insured for funds up to $250,000
- Their APY rate is the lowest on this article, but is still pretty high
- Gain access and manage your money at any time via the Internet
- They have a customer service department to answer your questions
- Their FAQ section is of a very poor quality
- iGObanking.com reserves the right to change your APY rate without notice
- There is a mobile app you may use to manage your money
- Fund your account with direct deposits that include social security or SSI
- Their fees are not very transparent or easy to find
- Domestic wires cost $15
How To Add Money To Your iGObanking.com Account
There are four ways to transfer money into your iGObanking.com high interest savings account. We tried to electronically transfer money directly from another bank, but it wouldn’t let us. Maybe there was a technical issue, but we always had to electronically transfer money to our iGObanking.com checking account and then move it into the iGObanking.com high-interest savings account.
- Set up one-time direct deposits to fund your account
- Set up repeating/frequent direct deposits to fund your account
- Wire money into your account
- Internally transfer money into your account electronically
I feel like the iGObanking.com bank made it purposefully difficult for me to find their list of fees. There are a few things about the iGObanking.com that I do not like, but we agreed that it still deserves its place on our best high-interest savings accounts article because it has a good APY rate and it is a legitimate online bank. However, I have added their fees schedule in an image below because I don’t think iGObanking.com should get off so easily for making it difficult for me to find their fees schedule when all the others accounts on our best high-interest savings accounts article made it so easy (i.e. easier when compared to iGObanking.com).
Just How Much Difference Does The APY Rate Make?
The banks, money companies and credit unions on our best high-interest savings accounts article have an APY rate that runs between 1.00 and 1.20%. You may be tempted to pick the account with the highest APY, but we suggest you pick the account that suits you the best.
For example, you may wish to deposit and keep depositing without limits, in which case the Alliant Credit Union would suit you better because it doesn’t have a maximum balance limit, whereas a savings account with GS Bank USA only allows you to keep a balance of up to $250,000.
For example, some of the savings accounts offer numerous free methods for funding your account, whereas others have fewer methods or others have extra fees for certain funding methods.
To push the point home, let’s do a little math and see just how much difference the APY rates will make in the long run. Let’s assume the following.
Initial amount in savings account is $50.00
Monthly deposit is made of
This continues onwards for ten years.
At the lowest rate on this article of 1.00% APY, after a year you will have $653.26 in your account. At the highest rate on this article of 1.20% APY, you will have $653.91 in your account. That is a difference of 65 cents.
Keep this up for ten years, and the 1.00 APY account will have $6,362.75 in it, whereas the 1.20% APY account will have $6,427.83 in it. That is a difference of just $65.08.
That is why I say that you should pick the account that suits you the best rather than simply picking the account with the highest APY rate.
Conclusion – The APY Rate And What You Should Do About Rate Changes
I hope I have proved to you that the APY rate on your account is not the most important deciding factor. You should pick the best high-interest savings accounts that suit you and your circumstances. Each of the savings accounts listed in our review have their own features, perks and downsides. It is far better to pick an account that suits your needs rather than picking one with the biggest APY.
I should also remind you that savings APY rates change. For example, in 2016, the GS Bank USA APY rate was only 1.05%, and it is only this year that it has gone up to 1.20%.
The fact is that sometimes the savings account providers will lower their APY rates. You can do one of two things about it. You can search for an online savings account that has had the same APY every year. Or, you can do what I do and dump the savings account when they lower the APY rate. Not only do you avoid the bank/credit union/money company from getting one over on you, but you also get to open up a new savings account and take advantage of another company’s/bank’s/credit union’s opening offers and promotions. Withdraw your money from the savings account that lowered their APY rate, close the account, and move your money into your new savings account.
The APY is the Annual Percentage Yield. The annual rate of return on your money. For example, a 1% APY means that if you put in $100 and wait a year, you will earn $1 in interest.
Mobile Check Deposit
Photograph your check and submit the image via the bank’s online network or mobile app
The opening deposit is the money you need to enter into your savings account to activate it. In almost every case, you get your money back.
Some accounts require you to maintain a certain amount of money in your account. None of these savings accounts requires a minimum balance to keep them open.
Maintenance Or Monthly Fee
Some accounts require a monthly, quarterly or annual fee to keep them open. None of the accounts in this article requires a monthly or maintenance fee.
It is a government insurance plan. If the savings account provider goes bust, you may claim up to $250,000 of your money back.
Compounded Daily Interest
Not only does the savings account pay you interest (APY %) on the money you put into your account, they also pay you interest on the interest you have earned too.
They usually include transfers from one bank’s checking account to its savings account. They also include electronic transfers.
These are transfers between accounts that usually happen right away. They are different from electronic transfers that take at least overnight to happen.
When people speak of these, they are usually referring to ACH transfers. Such transfers are often free and/or very cheap, and they usually take at least overnight to occur.
When speaking of savings accounts, a withdrawal is any occasion where money is moved out of your account.
In this article, we define transparent fees as fees that are easy to find and understand. This is often where the fee schedule is easy to find and doesn’t try to mislead readers with specific wordage.
This simply means that your savings account may be accessed via a mobile device using a mobile web browser. Mobile banking doesn’t mean there is an app, though some savings providers offer a banking app and mobile banking options too.
This means it is possible to access your savings account using a desktop computer and a web browser.
Some savings account providers will charge you a fee if there are no transactions conducted within your savings account for a set number of weeks.